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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Fri 23rd May 2014 - Breaking News - JW Lees to create 1,000 jobs in five years
JW Lees to create 1,000 jobs in five years: North west brewer and retailer JW Lees is to invest £67.5m in an expansion programme over the next five years as it targets sales of £100m. The investment plan, which will create 1,000 jobs with the acquisition and development of 65 new pubs, comes on the back of a record year. The company reported turnover of £62.8m in the year to March 31, up 5% from £59.2m in the previous financial year. JW Lees has committed to delivering 15% annual growth over the next five years to achieve the £100m sales target. The company has also revealed details of a profit share scheme for its 1,100 staff so they benefit from its growth. William Lees-Jones, managing director and the sixth generation of the family to take the reins, told The Manchester Evening News: “JW Lees has achieved record revenues in 2013 and I want to congratulate everyone in the business who has contributed towards this. These results are the springboard for our five year plan, which is all about growth. We are planning to invest £67.5m in buying and developing new pubs over the next five years. It is paramount that we continue to put our people at the heart of our business because to achieve our plans we need to create 1,000 new jobs to serve our guests in our pubs and drive the business. To be in Manchester today announcing over 1,000 new jobs for the north west in the next five years is a proud moment for all the JW Lees family.” In 2010, JW Lees posted profits of £2.9m on sales of £51m. That had grown to £3.5m on £53.5m in 2011 and £4.9m on £56.3m in 2012. JW Lees is holding a staff conference in Manchester city centre today with industry guru Jim Sullivan due to address the audience. He said: “It was an honour to have been invited to be a keynote speaker as part of the JW Lees conference in Manchester sharing my thoughts on customer service, leadership and performance. Knowing JW Lees’ record sales have been driven by a culture focused on the people in its business, both colleagues and customers, has much synergy with my company’s principles of profitable food service and multi-unit leadership.”
Sir Stelios plans Easyhotel float: Easyhotel, the owner of super budget branded hotels, is to seek an initial public offering and to apply for the admission to trading on AIM. It plans to raise up to £60 million. The company has an international portfolio of 20 hotels - two wholly-owned freehold hotels, one long leasehold development site and 17 franchised hotels. Chief executive Simon Champion said: “I look forward to creating significant value and growing the business. I have enjoyed working with Stelios, and am delighted he will remain a significant shareholder. I am also very pleased to work with our strong incoming Board, who add property, hotel and international knowledge and experience to our business.” Jan Åstrand, chairman of Easyhotel, said: “Easyhotel has a proven model of high returns on capital invested, and has the potential to create significant shareholder value by wisely investing in major European gateway cities. Easyhotel’s customer profile today is extremely international and gives us confidence that with the monies raised we can grow further in London and Europe, as well as pursuing franchise opportunities further afield.” Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of Easyhotel, added: “I see Easyhotel as one of the best, most natural extensions of the easy brand from the airline. Easyhotel is raising money to accelerate growth at a much faster rate than I could have grown it as a private company, whilst enabling me to spend more time on my diversified portfolio of other investments. I will retain a significant minority stake post IPO, and I am delighted to hand over to a strong board with a clear growth strategy to take this company forward to became one of the best known hotel brands in the world.”

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